Presented by Ben Tresselt III during TCIA's Winter Management Conference 2014 at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas.
This year’s Award of Merit recipient has been a member of TCIA since 1982. Back then, he had just three employees, worked from the basement of his parents’ house and did $120,000 in sales. Fast forward more than 30 years and his company approached $3 million in revenue with 25 employees. True to his generous nature, he attributes a major part of his company’s success to his membership in TCIA. But it is this association – and more broadly this industry – that has benefited from his passion and energy.
In addition to serving on TCIA’s Board of Directors, over the decades he volunteered his time and talents to the committees on Business Management & Development, Environmental Issues, Standards & Practices, Site Selection & Promotion, Finance, Nominations, Audit, Awards, and Membership.
The driving force behind the association’s recent green initiatives, he also found time to serve on the TCIA Foundation Board and as TCIA’s rep to the TREE Fund, where I believe he has been the top fundraiser for the Tour des Trees. His company was the first to be accredited in his state, and he served on the task force that created the CTSP credential.
It’s easy to volunteer to serve. It’s another thing to lead an industry, to inspire others to become involved, and to work cooperatively to discover new avenues and approaches to old problems. This year’s recipient has been and continues to be a true inspiration to so many.
Teddy Roosevelt said that “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” This year’s honoree has certainly worked hard at work that’s worth doing, so here today we’ll offer him the second best prize that life offers.
Five years ago he stood at this podium as incoming chair and said it was a great time to be an arborist and a member of the Tree Care Industry Association. I think it’s always a great time to be an arborist if it means we can spend some time with our 2014 Award of Merit recipient, Terrill Collier.